DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

book covers

Jun 8 2011

Face Book (literally)

by Jimmy L

Book covers are one of the things I miss the most now that more people have adopted eBook readers.  I love seeing at a glance what people are reading in public places.  And, covers are often just so well designed, like a breezy doorway, visually welcoming you into the world of the book itself.

We’ve written about book covers here on DCPLive before, but a few days ago I found a new twist on them in a blog called Corpus Libris. It’s a simple idea, but it’s so fun and funny.  Take a picture where your world blends in with the book cover design. I’m itching to try it myself.


Apr 27 2011

Only The Worst!

by Joseph M

In past entries, we’ve talked about how the jacket covers can tell you something about when a book was published as well as provide vital clues as to the identity of a book which resists identification by other means.

Today I’d like to mention a website devoted to showcasing the most bizarre, inexplicable, and just plain bad science fiction and fantasy book covers out there. It’s called Good Show Sir, and it is billed as “Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers”.

The pictures are hilarious, and the commentary even more so! I find it highly amusing. Can you think of any book covers that are so bad they are good?


Mar 19 2010


by Jesse M

For today’s post, I am featuring a simple, fun, and library related game called CoverGuess. Brought to us by the “social cataloging” website LibraryThing (where users can catalog personal collections, keep reading lists, post book reviews, and chat to other users who have the same books), the game is not only a pleasurable way to pass the time, but also serves to build up a database of book cover descriptions.  Eventually, this pool of information can assist booksellers and librarians when confronted with questions like “Do you have the book whose cover art has a red wax seal on ripped parchment, above the U.S. capital building?” (The book being described is Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol).

Interested in playing? Here’s how it works: you are given a book cover to describe using as many tags as you like. Try to pick out the most significant elements in the picture and include those terms in your description. Colors are always good to identify as well. You receive points based on every term you use to describe a cover that has also been used by a previous player. So, if you are describing the cover of the book Watchmen and you say “yellow” and “blood spatter”, and two other players said “yellow” and one said “blood spatter’, you would receive three points.

Sounds fun, right? And as I mentioned above, by playing you are contributing information to a database which can be used to assist booksellers and librarians find the books their customers and patrons are seeking. All the data gleaned through the game is released under a Creative-Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License. That means any non-profit entity, like a library, can use it without charge. The same deal is available to any bookstore with less than $10 million in sales.


Aug 20 2008

Jacket Art – Past and Present

by Ginny C

I’ll spare you the oft repeated phrase about book covers and judging them and how you’re not supposed to do it. And I won’t ask if you have ever decided whether or not to read a book based on the book cover. I suspect I know the answer. At the risk of being labeled a bad librarian, I will tell you that I have judged books based solely on their jacket art. But it was a long, long time ago, and I don’t do it anymore. Mostly.

Publishers realize that people judge books by the cover and some of the harshest critics are teens and tweens. Cover art has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. Where once book jackets consisted of soft-focus, pastel paintings of characters (often looking pensive to signify the seriousness of the topic and/or the decision the character must make), now they mostly contain computer generated art in graphic designs and colors.

When books are re-issued, they are often given new, modern cover art. Publishers do away with the old-fashioned artwork in favor of something that they hope will appeal to a new generation of readers. Take a look at the book covers I’ve posted below. Can you tell which ones were published recently? Based on these covers, are there any that you’d like to read? Or ones that you would not read?